An Allentown, Pa., man who plans to build a $10.9 million private camping resort will be allowed to put a social hall on the site, the Franklin Township Zoning Hearing Board ruled on Aug. 16, according to the Allentown Morning Call.
“We agreed he was within the permissible use” for an area zoned for agriculture, zoning board member Fred Bresswein said.
The decision followed about two hours of testimony on whether the zone board should grant developer Victor L. Frye a variance to build the hall. The board agreed that no variance was needed.
Frye wants to build the resort for vacationers who would stay in 340-square-foot recreational vehicles for $350 a night. The resort is planned for 24.5 acres near the Mahoning Valley exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Northeast Extension.
The parcel includes the site of Otto’s campground, where people live year-round in about a dozen trailers. Those people would be evicted, Frye said.
Frye, who is developing the project as Rock Street Development Corp., plans for 56 luxury recreational vehicles, five swimming pools, two tennis courts, five miles of trails, a $96,000, 79-foot waterfall, an upscale restaurant, a reception center and the social hall, all surrounded by $147,000 worth of fence. The resort would employ 92 workers.
The resort, which Frye characterized as for people who “want to camp, but don’t want to ‘camp,’” would be marketed to those in the $110,000-$160,000 a year income bracket. He said he would seek members in the wealthier communities of northern New Jersey, New York, Baltimore and Delaware.
But, he said, local people are welcome to join. Frye said he would offer two types of membership: a $1,000 a year plan or $350 a night.
Zone member Kim DePue, noting the secluded setting, asked if people would swim “with clothes or without.” Frye said they’d be clothed.
A while later in the hearing, Bresswein asked if the resort would be for nudists. Frye said it would not.
The pools, social hall and camping sites would be in the first phase of the development. Frye would not reveal details of plans for the remaining land, about 23 acres.
Frye has zoning permits for the pools and reception center. He said an agreement of sale for the land is pending.
His attorney, Anthony Roberti, said that with the other permits in place, it would not be logical to deny permission to build the social hall.
“A club without a clubhouse would not be much of a club,” Roberti said.
Frye said he had a contract for the $147,000 fence on his desk, and that there would be no year-round residents.